Thursday, November 29, 2012

LA=la land.

I lived in Los Angeles for almost fifty years, longer than anywhere else. Only a handful of places I like to return to:

1. In-N-Out Burger(best burger in town)_
2. Sagebrush Cantina in Calabas (site of most family celebrations)
3. Jerry's Famous Deli in Studio City (site of morning dates while children were little)
4. LACMA ( always a lot to see for one entrance fee)
5. Beaches (only place where you can leave everyone behind)

Forget Disneyland, Universal Studio, and big entertainment centers.

Los Angeles is just too big, too crowded, too expensive, and too rushed.

Even to walk the beaches you have to fight traffic to get close enough to park.
To eat, you have to add 10% to all your orders to cover taxes. (We have no sales taxes in Oregon)
To shop, you have to add hours to get to  and from your place in addition to parking fees and taxes.
A decent seat at the Pantages to see The Book of Mormon will cost you over $200; a one-day pass to Disneyland is $87, and a gallon of gas over $4.  Most parking will be at least $8 and most meals will run $25 and up per person.

When I first came to LA in 1959 life was also complicated and expensive. Only, there were no freeways, no malls, and going to the beaches was a favorite of teenagers. When I left LA in 2003, I knew that LA was not the place for seniors.

It still isn't.


  1. You would think that returning to a place with so much history would bring me joy. The only joy I feel is being with my family, preparing and sharing meals with them, absorbing their rhythm, understanding the challenges they face in their lives. These are the moments I look forward to,this pilgrimage that keeps us connected.

  2. It is 'telling' when one's memories of a place are underscored by the cost -- so it becomes a money, money, money memory. This must be so damaging to a population's morale.

    Your mention of the 10% sales tax makes me think of my husband -- he has never got used to the fact that in the US the tax is always added when you get to the till! Here it is funny to see so many visitors from the U.S. putting their hands in their pockets expecting that the price they pay will have something added to it.

  3. Atlanta is my LA. I was there last night to keep grandchildren while their parents went to a Falcons game. Hearing them talk about expense, parking and then getting on the expressway at midnight helped me to realize that the time for that kind of thing passed me by years ago. But, I do still get joy out of simply visiting the old haunts. Will agree that visiting is probably better than living there.

  4. There's something to be said for a slower pace of life!

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  6. I left southern California in 1980 and never went back, except to visit my mother. I hear you on all the hassles.

  7. I've never been to the west coast in your country or mine and there are places I'd love to see but it doesn't draw me to live there. Enjoy what you love and return home safely.

  8. i have a love-hate relationship with la as well - love the smell that hits you when you exit the airport at lax (minus the jet fuel, but otherwise paradise to us midwesterners starved for greenery and the oft fragrance of orange) but could do without the traffic and wall to wall neon commercialism. but i guess that's what makes la what it is.

    know what you mean about the beaches, though, you can really get away from it all there.

  9. I've been as far as San Francisco, but never LA. Not sure whether I would want to go there (frankly, I wasn't keen on going before I read your commentary). But SF was delightful.

    Blessings and Bear hugs.